Valentine's Day Ideas From The Archives
Mix & Match Valentine's Day Cards - 2021 Version

Art Journal Every Day: Pen Talk 2021


If you're new to Art Journal Every Day, the concept is simple: It's a commitment to take ten minutes each day to do something in your art journal.  No need to finish anything or even like it.  It's about making the time to nourish your creativity every day!  If you have the time to flip through your phone, you have the time to Art Journal Every Day.  If you'd like to share what you make, use the hashtag #artjournaleveryday so that we can all take a peek.  You can find new Art Journal Every Day posts here on the blog most Fridays.  The archives go back to the first Art Journal Every Day post in 2010.

Someone recently emailed me asking about my go-to pens for art journaling.  Doing a quick search of the blog archives I was shocked to see that the last time I delved into the topic was 2013!  That's EIGHT years ago. Ack!  So here's a round-up of my faves:

For Journaling:

Pilot Multiball -- This has been my only journaling pen for several years now.  It writes on top of paint, dries (mostly) waterproof, the tip doesn't get ruined by texture, and it has nice black ink.  My complaints are: hard to find, expensive (almost $5/pen), and I wish it had a fatter tip.  Until I find the perfect pen, this one is pretty darn close.

White Pens:

So...they're not all pens.  From left to write (right):

  • Prismacolor Premiere White Pencil -- It writes on top of acrylic paint.  It's fairly opaque and the tip doesn't get damaged by wet paint.  The con is that it needs to be sharpened constantly and I tend to break the "lead" when I sharpen it.  
  • White China Marker -- Similar to the white pencil -- it's fairly opaque and not bothered by wet paint.  Cons are that it isn't totally opaque and the tip is fairly blunt (and can't be sharpened).  It also has a rough texture, almost like a crayon.
  • White Gelly Roll Pen -- Works on top of dried acrylic paint.  Super opaque white.  Cons are that it isn't waterproof and if you drop it, you can break the little ball inside that controls ink flow.  Oh, and another pro: this pen now comes in tip widths!
  • White Posca Pen -- My favorite white paint pen is no longer manufactured.  Sob!  But the Posca pen is growing on me.  You shake shake shake it and eventually an opaque white paint emerges.  I use the .7mm pin type point for writing and detail work.  Eventually, I'd like to buy a set of Posca markers in all the colors.  It's on my to-buy-someday list.

For Decorative Purposes:

I own a ton of pens and markers and I use A LOT of them.  But I had to narrow it down to absolute must-haves and so here are the three I use most often for drawing, doodling, and fancy lettering in my art journal:

  • Pen Touch -- I use the metallics (mostly gold and copper) and I loooooove the black one.  In fact, the black one has been my constant companion for the last month or so.  These come in different widths and I like the 2.0 mm tip.  They're typical paint pens: shake shake shake.
  • Gelly Roll Moonlight -- Same as the white Gelly Roll: super opaque, write on top of wet paint, BUT they're not waterproof.  So they have to be a top layer.
  • Permapaque Markers -- A paint marker with no smell and no shaking!  These dual-tipped markers are my go-to for "marker painting" in my art journal.  You'd be hard pressed to find a single page in my art journal that doesn't use these markers.  They have great coverage, go over dried paint, are permanent and waterproof, and remain wet just long enough to smoosh around with your fingers.

So there you have it, the pens that make my art journal happy.  What are your favorite pens to use in your art journal? I'd love to know!

Thanks for stopping by!